Monday, 31 March 2008

Population Podcast...

I'm not sure whether you will recognise this man... I'm not sure that I would have... However, you will hopefully have heard of him and be familiar with the big idea about population growth and food supply that he came up with in the late 1700s.

I've only listened to the first few minutes, but this podcast from the BBC - "a discussion... which explores his why his theories on population growth are currently the subject of renewed debates" sounds worth a listen...

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Last few lessons...

Long overdue - sorry! A reminder of the last few lessons....

Global Atmospheric Circulation

The tri-cellular model shown below goes some way to explain the global patterns of pressure, precipitation and winds... There is a nice, straightforward explanation of the tri-cellular model, along with Rossby waves and jet streams on the S-Cool site (click on the picture...).



Cool Temperate Western Maritime Climate...

(ie the type of climate we have...)

- located 40o to 60o N and S, mainly on western edges of continents

Make sure that your climate graph (blue bars for precipitation and red line for temperature... Bahrain!) is completed and that you can describe the characteristics of the climate... The data you used to plot your graph was for Sheffield... Remember that there is variation within the British Isles as illustrated by the rather nice maps in this Met Office Factsheet.


Air Masses

5 of them affecting the British Isles - Polar Continental (Pc), Arctic Maritime (Am), Polar Maritime (Pm), Tropical Maritime (Tm) and Tropical Continental (Tc).

The temperature of an air mass and its moisture content are dependent on the source region (hot or cold) and the path (over land or sea) of the air mass.


Types of rainfall

Three main types - orographic (relief), frontal and convectional. In all cases, warm moist air is rising and cooling, water vapour is condensing, clouds are forming and rain is falling. The key difference is what makes the warm air rise in the first place.

For the moment, we need to concentrate on frontal rainfall - where warm and cold air meet...


Depressions

Mid-latitude depressions, or low pressure systems, are the most common weather system to affect the UK. Depressions can affect the UK at any time of the year and bring wet and windy weather.

Three main stages - embryo, maturity and decay - nicely summarised on the S-Cool site.

You need to be able to describe the changes in the weather patterns that occur with the passage of a depression, as well as being able to identify depressions on satellite images and synoptic charts.

A reminder here from the Met Office about station plots and what they mean...

And Postman Pat (courtesy of Tony Cassidy), should you want to watch again, is here!!


Next, anticyclones...

Saturday, 29 March 2008

What's going on here?


The reason that Google has "turned the lights out" on its homepage is that today is the day of Earth Hour. Last year Sydney took a stand against climate change and switched off the lights for an hour... This year, it is a global event, with cities across the world switching off their lights for an hour at 8.00pm local time.




There's an interesting article from Time Magazine here

Will you be joining in? Leave a comment and let us know!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Books...

A couple of people have asked about the books I mentioned last week...

One was AS and A Level Geography Through Diagrams... there's a newer version than the one I have...


The other was The Complete A-Z Geography Handbook by Malcolm Skinner, David Redfern and Geoff Farmer. Again, my copy is an old version.
Please remember though, if you buy either of these books, that they are general ones - not written for any particular specification, and so there will be things in there that are not on our spec!

Park Hill Flats

Just been looking for the Urban Splash brochure for Park Hill Flats that I mentioned today, but unfortunately (unless I am looking in the wrong place) it seems to have been taken off their website. However...

There's an interesting post from Alan's blog here, some superb photos and video clips about life at Park Hill from the BBC's South Yorkshire site and Sheffield City Council has a site with plenty of information about the plans to "achieve a mixed tenure, mixed use, transformation of Park Hill as a fashionable city centre address"... A fair bit of work to do before that happens, methinks!!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Planet Earth Explorer

Not sure why I have not seen this one before! Planet Earth Explorer is an interactive globe linked to some stunning video footage - including aerial footage of Erta Ale, sandstorms in the Sahara, the Yucatan Cenotes (is this what you were asking about the other day Anna?), and lots of impressive wildlife.


Sunday, 16 March 2008

Marshmallows....

Or what sad geography teachers do on Sunday afternoons...


video Let's hope there's some marshmallows left for a demonstration on Tuesday!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Quarry or not?

I mentioned to you today about the Quarry or Not? event at the British Geological Survey in June... There is a report here from last year's event, and if you click on the picture below, it will take you to the "trailer" that I had intended to show you this afternoon.


Our eight places have been confirmed, so we just need to decide now who gets the golden tickets!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Air pressure

A nice summary from the BBC of air pressure here.

A reminder of the egg experiment:


How To Suck An Egg Into A Bottle


And the ruler/newspaper one:


How To Put A Ruler Under Pressure

Remember that we need to think back to Friday's lesson and the unequal heating of the earth's surface to understand why areas of high and low pressure develop.

Have a look here at the pressure charts and the surface pressure forecast, and have a go at predicting how the weather will change over the next few days!

Monday, 10 March 2008

6 hours of Geography!

Dan Raven-Ellison and a team of Geography students, teachers and academics are the next act to take part in BBC3's Upstaged... Click on the picture to find out more about their ideas...


Dan and the team will be entertaining the nation with 6 hours of Geography, starting at 3.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday)... You can watch - and rate their performance, send in questions, etc. online, and there will be a highlights show on BBC3.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

My trip to London...

After a ridiculously early start on Wednesday (the sunrise was very impressive... sadly no pictures as I didn't really want to miss my train), and - fortunately - a rather less eventful journey than my last visit there, I arrived at the RGS... Met lots of interesting people and had lots of interesting discussions about what we should and shouldn't be teaching in KS3 - and had a very nice lunch! I was also very impressed (perhaps a bit too impressed...) with the fantastic globes in the Council Room...


As I was passing the Natural History Museum on my way back to the tube, I remembered about the Ice Station Antarctica exhibition that is on until 20th April, so went in to have a look at that... The pair of scissors that live in my pencil case didn't go down well with the security guards at the entrance and so they, along with £7.00, were taken off me. The exhibition was aimed really at primary school children, but there were some interesting bits and pieces, including the opportunity to stand in a freezer room at about -100C (which would be a warm summer day in Antarctica!) and various games to play including driving a skidoo (which I was rather better at when I did it for real in Iceland).

Then off to Angel to meet Mrs Kambalu for dinner at the Afghan Kitchen...

Back to the new St Pancras International Station, where I had half an hour before my train to investigate the new Foyles bookshop, have a look at the famous clock and the infamous Meeting Place statue and cause great amusement to a man with a rubbish cart when I stopped to take a picture of the plaque that said that the huge girders had been made in 1867 at Butterley in Derbyshire!



Structure of the atmosphere and the earth's energy balance...

We started Friday's lesson by recapping the vertical stratification of the atmosphere (see earlier post for diagrams) - the words ending in "-pause" were the upper limits of each layer, and Tom Sings Musical Tunes was the mnemonic we came up with to remember the order of the layers as you move upwards.

We then looked at the earth's energy balance....

Although it is written for Scottish Highers, this bit of the BBC Bitesize website has a nice and fairly straightforward summary...

The end of three months of darkness

The photograph shows Longyearbyen, Svalbard... Although we won't be doing Cold Environments until next year, this article from yesterday's Guardian about Longyearbyen's first full day of sunshine since October is interesting, especially after the conversations we had on Friday...


UK braced for storms and flooding....

This is from the front page of the Met Office website at the moment, together with advice to stay away from coastal areas between today and Wednesday...

According to this article from the BBC, the worst storm of the winter is on its way... Have a look at the pressure chart forecast and see if you can work out what's going on...

What's going on here?

Saw this story in the news the other day... Where is it, what are they doing, and why?


Click on the picture to link to the story in the New York Times. There's also a BBC In Pictures and a BBC video clip...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Wednesday

A reminder that I will not be in school on Wednesday as I am off to the RGS in London.


(Photos - Flickr users sarchi and stevecadman)

For the nosy/curious ones amongst you, this is what I'll be doing...

In my absence, I would like you to do some reading about the uneven heating of the earth's surface. Mr Bradley will be happy to lend you a textbook if you want to borrow one, there is lots of info on the Higher section of the Met Office website, and lots of other bits and pieces out there... Make sure, also, that you are happy about the structure of the atmosphere from Friday.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Place Spotting...

If you're doing so well on the "How many countries can you name in 5 minutes?" game that you need a new challenge, check out Google Place-Spotting...